Every day, around 6,000 car accidents occur in the United States. A large percentage of these accidents result in property damage, and some even result in injuries or fatalities. Whenever an accident happens, it’s essential to stop and exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. However, sometimes people choose to flee the scene rather than face the consequences of their actions. This is not only illegal but also morally wrong. Let’s take a closer look at the demerits of fleeing the scene of a car accident.
Possible Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
So there you are, standing on the side of the road next to your damaged car. The other driver involved in the accident drove away without stopping. Now what? First, it’s important to know that hit-and-run accidents are taken very seriously by law enforcement.
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary from state to state, but they can often be quite severe. In some states, hit and run is considered a felony offense and can be punished by up to 5 years in prison. In other states, it is regarded as a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 1 year in jail. In addition to possible jail time, you may be fined if you’re convicted of hit and run. The fine can be as much as $5,000 in some states.
If you are carrying a commercial driver’s license, you need an experienced CDL lawyer by your side because the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are even more severe. A conviction can result in the loss of your CDL for a year or more.
Furthermore, if you leave the scene of an accident that resulted in injuries, you may be charged with a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If the accident resulted in a fatality, you might be charged with a felony offense punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
If you’re convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, your driver’s license will be suspended for some time. In some states, your vehicle registration may also be suspended. Furthermore, your insurance rates will almost certainly go up if your insurance company finds out that you left the scene of an accident.
As you can see, there are many potential penalties for leaving the scene of an accident. These penalties can have a major impact on your life, so it’s best to avoid them altogether by staying at the scene and taking responsibility for your actions.
Moral Obligation to Stay at the Scene
Indeed, getting involved in an accident can be a scary and stressful experience. However, it’s important to remember that you have a moral obligation to stay at the scene and render aid to those who may be injured. Leaving the scene of an accident is not only illegal but also morally reprehensible.
In addition to facing legal penalties, there is also a moral obligation to stay at the scene after an accident occurs. If you choose to flee, you will likely cause additional harm or even death if the other driver(s) involved are injured and need medical attention. You may also cause additional damage to property if you flee before law enforcement arrives and assesses the situation. Fleeing the scene is not only illegal but also morally wrong.
If you are involved in an accident, do the right thing and stay at the scene. Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, and render aid to those who may be injured. Not only is this the legal thing to do, but it’s also the moral thing to do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed after an accident, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Here are a few tips to help you deal with the aftermath of a car accident:
- Remain calm and try to relax
- Call the police and make sure they come to the scene of the accident
- Get the contact information of the other driver(s) involved as well as any witnesses
- Take photos of the damage to both vehicles
- See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you’re injured
- Call your insurance company and let them know what happened
- Hire an experienced car accident lawyer to help you through the process
Try not to worry, and remember that you have options. Accidents happen, but you don’t have to go through this alone.
As we’ve seen, there are many reasons why fleeing the scene of a car accident is not a good idea. If you are ever involved in an accident, do yourself (and everyone else) a favor by staying at the scene and taking responsibility for your actions.